Austria flag Austria: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Austria

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party to the International Coffee Agreement
International Economic Cooperation
Austria is a member of the following international economic organisations: European Union, ICC, Schengen Agreement, IMF, G-9, WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Austria click here. International organisation membership of Austria is also outlined here.
Non Tariff Barriers
In accordance with its European Union membership, Austria complies with all the European Union rules. While the EU has a rather liberal foreign trade policy, there is a certain number of restrictions, especially on farm products, following the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): the application of compensations on import and export of farm products, aimed at favoring the development of agriculture within the EU, implies a certain number of control and regulation systems for the goods entering the EU territory. Moreover, for sanitary reasons, regarding Genetically Modified Organisms (after being allowed in the European territory), their presence should be systematically specified on packaging. Beef cattle bred on hormones is also forbidden to be imported. BSE (often called the "mad cow disease") urged the European Authorities to strengthen the phytosanitary measures to make sure of the quality of meats entering and circulating in the EU territory. The principle of precaution is now more widespread: in case of doubt, the import is prohibited until proof is made of the non-harmfulness of products.

Certain non-tariff barriers also exist in the pharmaceutical, telecom, biotechnology, refrigerant, and legal and accounting services sectors.

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Operations carried out within the EEA are duty-free.
The Common Customs Tariff of the European Union applies to goods originating outside Europe. Generally the duty is relatively low, ranging from 5.0% to 14% on industrial goods. However, many products have reduced duties or no duties at all by virtue of trade agreements (according to Eurostat, around 70% of the imports that enter the EU do so at zero tariff).
Agricultural products imported from outside the EU are subject to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with custom duties on these items being supplemented with a system of variable levies or other charges.

Customs Classification
As a member of the EU, Austria complies with the TARIC system for all Customs
Import Procedures
Imported goods are to be declared at Customs. A Single Administrative Document or SAD is used for this purpose. The Single Administrative Document (SAD) may be submitted to the Austrian Customs Administration physically or through an electronic declaration. For more information click here Hauptzollamt Wien (Central Customs Office, Vienna).

Imported products are subject to a value-added tax (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer) as they enter the Austrian customs area. The VAT upon importation is calculated based on the customs value of imported goods. The importer is entitled to a VAT refund from the Tax Authority once the imported good is resold or re-exported in the distribution chain.

As a member of the EU, Austria requires import licences for most goods, especially agricultural products. This applies to all countries of origin, including the United States. Special rules apply to particular imports from certain countries, such as shoes made in China. EU import quotas are handled through the granting of import licences to qualified companies. Austrian importers are usually required to show an exporter licence from the supplier country and then obtain an approval to import from the Austrian authorities (Einfuhrbewilligung or import permit)

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy is the licencing authority for most other goods. The import of war material requires a licence and individual approval of each shipment by the Austrian Ministry of Interior.
Importing Samples
Goods that are used as and which qualify as samples are eligible for duty-free entry. In order to qualify, they must be of negligible value (EUR 45 or less), consumed or destroyed during demonstration and are packaged and properly marked in a manner which precludes their being used as other than samples. (i.e. foodstuffs, non-alcoholic beverages, perfumes and chemical products). There should not be more than one sample of each style or quality in a consignment.
Austria and the EU use the
ATA Carnet Customs procedure used for temporary importation, transit and temporary admission of goods designed for specific purposes, duty-free and tax-free

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Hauptzollamt Wien

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Latest Update: April 2024

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